Studies Leading Up to the Master Plan: 1948-1960

In the post-World War II era, there are three key studies that led directly to the 1960 Master Plan and that provide many of the planning concepts and policies that were then codified in the 1960 Donahoe Act. These include:

State Higher Education in California: Report of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Recommendations of the Commission of Seven (June 24, 1932) [HTML]

In the midst of the Depression and the growing demand for regional public colleges in California, University of California officials suggested that the state obtain the services of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to review the organization and governance of public higher education in California. The subsequent report, referred to as the Suzzallo Report among contemporaries after the president of the Carnegie Foundation, provided a long list of recommendations to bring greater coherence and efficiency to California's tripartite public system (created by 1920). This included the recommendation that the University of California Regents absorb the state teachers colleges (what become CSU) and the boards members be expanded; ending the election of the State Superintendent for Public Instruction and making the position an appointment of the State Board of Education, have the governor appoint the State Board of Education, and the establishment of the State Council for Educational Planning and Coordination.

The first recommendation was ignored by legislators as unpopular amidst charges that it was a UC-induced scheme to control the enrollment and program growth of the colleges. The second and third recommendation was brought to a vote and rejected by Californians under a proposed constitutional amendment. Only the recommendation for a Council for Education Planning became a reality. Yet it proved a failure. The growing rivalry between the University of California and the state colleges made voluntary coordination unworkable, with college programs proliferating to meet a great variety of program needs in local economies beyond teacher training.

-- JAD

A Report of a Survey of the Needs of California in Higher Education, 1948 [HTML]

In the midst of World War II, California began a large scale effort to plan to the post-war economy. This led to series of planning efforts in higher education in part intended to help absorb the anticipated surge of new students under the GI Bill. In 1946, a "Liaison Committee" was established by University of California and the State Board of Education to supersede the dysfunctional State Council to improved relations between the UC system and the state colleges. The California Legislature then provided funding for a planning study under the aegis of the Liaison Committee to chart the future of California's rapidly growing higher education system. The "Survey of Needs of California in Higher Education" was an innovative effort to set the missions of each segment of the higher education system, project enrollment trends and to make recommendation on new campuses. This was California's first real master plan (the first comprehensive state higher education plan in the nation) that provided the general pattern for subsequent plans in California and other states.

Among the recommendation of what became known by contemporaries as the "Strayer Report"--named after one of its main authors, George Strayer--was the expansion of the state colleges into Masters programs, the limitation of doctoral degree programs to UC, the creation of new state college campuses in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Sacramento, and a proposal to establish a state grant program for needy students for use at either public or state approved private colleges and universities. Of these recommendations, only the student grant program was not immediately placed into legislation. This did not occur until 1955--what is today the Cal Grant program.

-- JAD

A Restudy of the Needs of California in Higher Education, 1955 [HTML]

In 1953, a number of policy questions required a reassessment of the Strayer Report. Enrollment projections made in 1947 underestimated demand. A number of local communities and their legislators wanted new state college campuses not outlined in the report and opposed by University of California officials. And the costs of enrollment expansion at public institutions combined with deficit spending by state government caused significant consternation. A number of legislators wanted the political and economic prize of a new campus in their districts and introduced bills related to the state's higher education system with little thought regarding the overall needs of the California . Other lawmakers wanted an accounting of costs and a discussion of how best to proceed. Again, UC and State Board of Education officials proposed the establishment of a planning study. It would review the 1948 study, hence its title as a "Restudy."

Under the direction of Thomas R. McConnell, the former president of the University of Buffalo and a noted expert on higher education systems, a research team began work which extended from 1953 until 1955. The most comprehensive study up to that time of a state systems of higher education, the Restudy Report provided a in depth analysis of costs and made a number of recommendations that influence today's budgeting and planning process - including the proposal for a five year cycle of review for capital projects and space standards to assist in the review of capital outlay. The report also endorsed the student grant proposal noted previously.

But two recommendations proved unpopular among legislators or the State Board of Education and UC officials. The report suggested that the state colleges gain their own board (a recommendation made previously by a cabal of state college presidents) and indicated poor management of these institutions by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and an inattentive State Board of Education. Neither the Superintendent or State Board members were pleased. And more importantly, the report stated that existing UC and state college campuses should be significantly increased in enrollment, and that no new campuses be established until at least 1965. Many leading egislators who had expected to see their proposed campus on a list of recommended sites were furious with this recommendation. Because of its political naiveté, neither the UC Regents or the State Board of Education endorsed the report. Its failure unleashed a torrent of new bills for new campuses and the restructuring of the state's already famous tripartite system of public higher education.

-- JAD

A Study of the Need for Additional Centers of Public Higher Education in California, 1957 [HTML]

The political response to the Restudy Report troubled the higher education community and raised for the first time the specter of ad hoc policymaking by legislators simply overwhelming the authority of the UC Regents and the State Board to set policy. Bills were introduced to reconfigure the state higher education system and collectively would have bankrupted the state. Once again through the mechanism of the Liaison Committee, the Regents and the State Board asked for a new study to quickly update projected enrollment demand within distinct regions of the state, and the generation of a priority list of new campus sites. The Study of the Need for Additional Centers was a direct effort to capture some control of new campus development.

Based in part on legislation pending during the 1956 session, the report recommended approval of state colleges campuses in the areas of Fullerton, Hayward, Stanislaus, Northridge, Sonoma, San Bernardino, Dominguez Hills and Bakersfield. The expansion of existing UC programs and new UC campuses sites were recommended at Davis, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Diego, in the area of Santa Cruz, Irvine and the Central Valley. The UC and State Board approved listing of new campus sites met limited immediate success in Sacramento as legislators become increasing determined to refashion on their own--and for differing reasons--the future of the state's higher education system. But it did offer the primary listing of campuses that would be built, essentially providing the blueprint for the 1960 Master Plan's revised recommendation of new campus sites.

-- JAD